CB Bureau, New Delhi, January 14, 2011
‘There are no good jobs for people with disabilities in a company; but there is a good person with a disability for every job in a company.’

This belief keeps the Ability organization going. Over 16 years of facilitating, encouraging and empowering thousands of physically challenged – differently abled – citizens of the country makes Ability Foundation one of the flagbearers of the cause.

Established in 1995, the foundation works for the empowerment, integration and rights of people with disabilities. With mainstreaming and inclusion as its constant theme, the foundation has initiated a slew of innovative programmes that aim at total inclusion of people with disabilities across jobs in varied sectors. For them, disability is an issue that concerns the rights of people.

Make employment possible
The foundation has established the so-called Ability Employment Wing, which is engaged in identifying market-essential qualities among people with disabilities, and connects with employers or companies that value the talents of disabled persons.

The organization notes that more and more businesses have now begun to view qualified people with disabilities as a valuable human resource potential and recognize the fact that they can no longer ignore this human capital.

The employment wing sensitizes employers about the need to offer unbiased, equal-opportunity employment, to place candidates with disability on par with others. The wing also works towards enhancement of skills and education of the disabled to increase their employment prospects.

‘We work ceaselessly for the creation of a society that recognizes the value of diversity. People with disabilities are to be seen as part of the infinite richness of diversity and must be accorded the same spaces and avenues for empowerment as everyone else. Our philosophy is one of “total inclusion”.

‘Towards these goals, we engage in a spectrum of activities that include publishing and media, education and employment, culture and recreation, legislation and human rights. Put together, they make up a continuum. We believe that given the right opportunities at the right time, so much more is possible.All it takes is an open mind,’ reads the text on the organization’s website.

The employment wing’s efforts further extend to a job-opportunities fair called EmployAbility. It brings together qualified people with disabilities and informed corporate parties on one platform. It is an annual event since it was first held in 2004.

The foundation claims that EmployAbility has been extremely successful in demonstrating that there is no dearth of qualified job seekers among persons with disabilities. What is needed is a level-playing field, sans bias. Employers from almost all sections of industry including retail, IT and ITES, logistics, hospitality, FMCG and advertising participate in the job fair.

On the other hand, disabled candidates with an extremely wide range of qualifications and experience – graduates and post-graduates in varied fields including arts, science, commerce, computer science, law, life sciences, management, engineering, medicine and chartered accountancy – from several states across India benefit from EmployAbility.

Ability Foundation interacts with NGOs from across the country and disseminates information about scope, opportunities and challenges in their domain. Its quarterly magazine Success & ABILITY profiles NGOs working to educate, train and rehabilitate people with various disabilities.

There is a message for the employers on the site: Employers – we answer your questions, provide sensitisation training and other advice, facilitate your recruitment of the “right candidate”, and much more.

Ability Awards
Ability Awards were instituted in 2003 to identify achievers with disabilities and recognize exemplary services as well as accomplishments of achievers, primarily social entrepreneurs. The awards are in two forms. The CavinKare Ability Award for Eminence is given to one person with disability who has demonstrated a commitment to others that goes beyond personal triumphs. It comprises a memento, a citation and a cash prize of two lakh rupees.

The CavinKare Ability Mastery Award goes to three people who have not allowed their disability to come in the way of attaining excellence in their chosen field. These awards recognize mastery in any area of one’s choice and are conferred on to those who have set high standards for themselves and achieved their ambitions. The award comprises a memento, a citation and a cash prize of one lakh rupees.

AbilityFest – India International Disability Film Festival – is a biannual event. It presents an inspiring showcase of extraordinary films from around the world. These films are made by—and with—people with disabilities. The core philosophy of the event is ‘an inclusive society’.

To help enhance candidates’ skills so as to meet employers’ expectations, Ability’s National Centre for Information & Communication Technology (NCICT) was set up. NCICT offers comprehensive job-oriented training to graduates with disabilities.

Reproduced from: CauseBecause.com

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